2012 March Madness Predictions

The 2012 March Madness tournament is right around the corner. Selection Sunday is this weekend and millions of Americans will be filling out their tournament brackets. We’ve posted our 2012 March Madness predictions below, including the teams that we think have the best chance at the Final Four and National Championship. We’ve also added our favorite sleeper team for 2012.

Where to Bet on March Madness

If you’d like to bet on the games, BetOnline.com is the best choice for US residents. They post the earliest March Madness betting lines, accept credit card deposits, and accept bets of $2 – $15,000.

March Madness Betting: SBL Recommended Betting Sites

2012 March Madness National Champion Futures Odds & Predictions

*The odds below are based on the best odds available as of Thursday, March 8, 2012. For the latest futures odds, please visit the sports betting sites listed in the chart above.

Kentucky Wildcats +200

The Kentucky Wildcats (30-1) finished with a perfect 16-0 record in SEC conference play. The only loss for the Wildcats came against the Hoosiers on December 10th by a score of 73-72. Kentucky is the #1 team in the country and will be a #1 seed this year, so the team is going to have a fairly easy road to the Final Four.

The Wildcats finished the season with an RPI Rank of 2 and an SOS Rank of 35. Kentucky picked up big wins this season over the #11 Jayhawks, #5 Tar Heels, #4 Cardinals and the #7 Gators (Twice). Anthony Davis is the leader on the team and has had a great season, but the entire team is talented and you won’t find many weaknesses on the Wildcats.

Kansas Jayhawks +900

The Kansas Jayhawks (26-5) are the #4 ranked team in the country and will most likely be a #1 seed. The Jayhawks still have the Big 12 conference tournament this week, which should be good for them to get their wheels rolling. Kansas isn’t receiving much attention, but I definitely think that the Jayhawks have the potential to make it to the Final Four this year.

The Jayhawks have historically underachieved in the March Madness tournament, but I think they could turn that around in 2012. Kansas had an RPI Rank of 6 and an SOS Rank of 7 this season. Kansas won big games over the #2 Buckeyes, #22 K-State Wildcats, #3 Bears and #3 Tigers. Kansas did have some big losses early in the year against Kentucky and North Carolina, but the team hasn’t lost since Feb 4th when they lost to the Mizzou Tigers 74-71.

Syracuse Orange +700

I’ve been saying that the Syracuse Orange (30-1) are going to be a Final Four team in 2012 for months now. Syracuse has 1 loss this season against Notre Dame Irish by a score of 67-58, but other than that loss the team hasn’t had a blemish. Syracuse has an incredible RPI Rank of 1 and an SOS Rank of 29.

Syracuse really hasn’t played the top echelon of teams this season, but the Orange do have wins over the #9 Gators, #20 Golden Eagles, #11 Hoyas and #18 Cardinals (Twice). 7 players on the team are averaging 5+ PPG and the team has been looking great on defense. I think the Orange will be another #1 seed that has a great shot at making the Final Four in 2012.

2012 March Madness Final Four: Sleeper Prediction

In most years, at least one team will emerge from out of nowhere and make a deep run in the March Madness tournament. In 2011, #11 seed VCU made a run to the Final Four and in 2010 #5 seed Butler made it to the National Championship game before losing to Duke. If you want to win your tournament bracket you need to find a sleeper (Cinderella) team to emerge from the 68-team playing field. Our sleeper pick is Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s Gaels

I can’t find odds (yet) on the Gaels winning the 2012 March Madness tournament, but I think we could find early value on them as soon as the lines get posted. The Gaels finished with a 27-5 record and a 14-2 record in the WCC Conference. Saint Mary’s just won the WCC Conference Championship a couple of days ago against Gonzaga in overtime.

Right now most experts predict the Gaels will be a #5 seed and I think we could see them make the Final Four. In 2010, Butler and Michigan State were both #5 seeds that made it to the Final Four. The Gaels have one of the best offensive teams in the nation, as the team averages 74.9 PPG (35th in Nation), 15.9 APG (17th in Nation) and shoots .475 (25th in Nation) from the field.

2012 March Madness National Champion Prediction

I think the Syracuse Orange +700 have a great shot at winning the 2012 March Madness National Championship. I also really like the Gaels to make it to the Final Four and I’ll be looking for odds on them to win the tournament, as I can hedge the bet later on.

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